What can the kids memorize?


[This thread was copied here from the old forum.]

duyhoa 27 September, 2012 - 01:25

Hi all. It seems that not much training course/details for the child till now. And I am wondering what we can teach the kids about memory, especially for the 4 - 6 years old. I am not sure if they can learn how to memorize number, shopping list, geographical map, face & name. Is this enough or still short of any content? Anyone suggest more details?
It is true that the kids also need to know about memory palace/memory journey that they can handle all the things above? So, does anyone suggest the idea of teaching kids about this most effectively?
Still i not know what’s the best method to teach them… Plz post your comment/idea about this question. Thanks a lot.

NeilG 27 September, 2012 - 07:57

Hmm, given how little there is written on memory techniques even for adults, I’d be surprised if there’s anything for such young children - you may be a trailblazer!

My instincts (I’m a parent, and have worked in 11-18 education) are that younger kids - say around 6 - should be able to get the concepts of memorising names and faces, and would probably find it fun. Memory palaces/journeys/loci I think could be INTRODUCED at this age - but without using the terminology. Talk about going for a walk through the places they’ve seen in a story, put objects there in their minds, then walk back through orally and see if they remember what they’ve put there.

Creating a suitable book of an illustrated journey - either in photographs or better child-friendly illustrations - could be a good resource for this. If you’re working with a group, having a journey first on a PowerPoint or maybe video would be good.

I don’t think most would “get” major system until probably 9-10 years of age on average, and PAO probably 11-12 (although PAO is too heavyweight for most children to bother with unless they have a personal interest). According to Piaget, children start developing the idea of abstract images about age 12, and I’d say that’s essential for making full use of memory techniques.

Mystery 27 September, 2012 - 08:59

I guess you can introduce the concepts, like journeys and placing objects at almost any age, but I sort of doubt they will care enough about it to really use it, nor would they have anything to use the techniques on probably until the start of high school.

Josh 27 September, 2012 - 21:18

I recently taught the method of loci to a four-year old. I started with a deck of alphabet cards like these:

Alphabet cards

Any cards with pictures should work.

I shuffled them and then showed the cards one at a time while her dad was driving:

  • Imagine the ice cream on your dad’s head.
  • Imagine the umbrella on your mom’s head.
  • Imagine the flowers on the steering wheel.
  • Imagine the dinosaur on your dad’s shoulder.
  • Imagine the eraser on the door lock.
  • Etc.

I ran through the journey twice with her and then quizzed her about what was in each spot. She got all seven items correct. I didn’t push too hard, but will keep experimenting when I get the opportunity. :slight_smile:

I also taught her how to identify over 20 species of birds when she was two years old: turkey vulture, great horned owl, merganser, wood duck, mallard duck, etc. Many adults couldn’t tell the difference between a barred owl and a barn owl, but she could. I think there is potential.

Next up: scientific names of 26 dinosaurs based on alphabet shapes. 8)

For names and faces, I would start really simply. Pick names that already sound like objects. In English, “Adam” could be use to teach them what “Adam’s apple” is. Then they could use an apple as a mnemonic image. Or names from cartoon characters might work.

For numbers, I would try a 1-digit number shape system. Make cards with the numbers drawn on them. One side could be just the number and the other side a cross between the number and the object (e.g., a “1” that looks like a candle, a “2” that looks like a swan). Then play the same method of loci game. You could even hide the cards and have the child try to guess what the picture is before they look at each card. After they play a few times, they would probably get the basic concept. From that point, you could give them information and show them how to apply their number system.

I have some other ideas about teaching kids, but haven’t had the opportunity to test them yet. I just created a new group for people who are interested in discussing how to teach memory techniques to children.

gavino 27 September, 2012 - 22:59

My son aged eight learned 32 names of the legendary Pokemons (!) in two half hour sessions using a simple journey around our home. This was his first attempt. I have to say that his motivation for the subject matter helped, but three months later he can remember the journey and all of the reminder images.

martin.craughwell 28 November, 2012 - 12:45

this is brilliant.you guys have great stories and
suggestions.i hope to try this with my nephew in a few weeks.
i’m gonna have to find something he likes
and try it with that.
like the names of the tranformers or something.

Hype 28 November, 2012 - 16:10

gavino wrote:

My son aged eight learned 32 names of the legendary Pokemons (!) in two half hour sessions using a simple journey around our home. This was his first attempt. I have to say that his motivation for the subject matter helped, but three months later he can remember the journey and all of the reminder images.

I’ll be disappointed in your son if he doesn’t know all of the original 151 (AT LEAST) by 9. That stuff is mandatory knowledge for every child.
I suppose it’s different for him, though. Pokémon is long passed its golden age of the Kanto region. Now we have 649 pokémon, and the original 151 are hardly even shown!

suncover 11 December, 2012 - 20:12

For me, I lost interest after 251, because they started getting ridiculous and uncreative. The original 151 were the best :smiley:

oneshot 17 August, 2013 - 16:49

My 5 year old can do 1/2 a deck, she could probably do a whole deck, but I haven’t created a palace big enough for her yet. She (and I) do 52 images/52 loci.

My 2 year old gets a memory palace, and she can do a 4 or 5 loci journey easily.

Never underestimate what a child can do.

Buckminster Fuller said, “Every child is born a genius, we spend the first six years of their lives de-geniusing them…”

duyhoa83 30 April, 2014 - 08:38

i’m teaching the kids aged 6 year-old the 1 digit PAO system and they’ve been giving promising result. 20 digits can be memorized once hearing by linking method. However, it’s still slow due to spending time to create interaction. Surely they will make improvement soon…

damanisa 7 May, 2014 - 17:54

I have been invited to take a lesson on anything (I am a high school teacher) at my daughter’s Primary School. She is in Prep (first year here in Australia).

This very thread has inspired me to try memory with them. I have alphabet picture cards and I tested loci with my 6 and 4 year old at home with just a few and they did it no problems at all. They recalled them the next day no worries. Game on.

suncover 11 May, 2014 - 19:25

Would certainly be curious to hear how it was received by the students!

danmanisa 15 May, 2014 - 21:01

It won’t be for a couple of months but I will document it and post it here. Cheers.

raykidwell 24 August, 2014 - 11:56

After 3 weeks of learning a memory palace and 0-99 objects,

my 9 year old can:

Memorize 52 digits perfectly forward and backwards

What's the best answer you can give to someone who suggests memory techniques are useless?